Traduire « à la diable » : L’enfer mis en vulgaire parlure d’Antoine Brea


  • Fernando Funari Università degli Studi di Firenze



translation, Dante, Inferno, Brea, translational taboo, textometry


Antoine Brea’s L’Enfer mis en vulgaire parlure (the latest translation of Dante’s Inferno, published in 2021) illustrates a semantic duplicity of the term error which, etymologically, means both to err and to wander. Brea’s Enfer wanders, in the sense that it programmatically distances itself from the translators who preceded it (a retranslation is always a correction and, as such, it presupposes the error of the previous translations). But this “traduction à la diable” also errs in the literal sense of the term, since it deviates from an established linguistic norm. Brea’s reaction to the purist or puritanical translations of his predecessors produces in fact a degradation of language into « parlure » and of vulgaris (the illustrious vernacular theorized by Dante) into vulgar. But is this erring really an error? To answer this question, this essay will focus the violation of a translational taboo and, in particular, the presence of scatological vocabulary in Brea’s Inferno. A qualitative analysis will be supported by the tools offered by textometry and by an automatic survey of the lexicon of a corpus, “Les Divines”, comprising 40 French translations of Dante’s Inferno (totaling 1,474,726 words) published from 1800 to 2021



How to Cite

Funari, F. (2023). Traduire « à la diable » : L’enfer mis en vulgaire parlure d’Antoine Brea. MediAzioni, 38(1), A5-A19.